NHL

Pierre Houde given Foster Hewitt Award for hockey excellence; NBA Title series starts Thursday

2024 Foster Hewitt Award

Longtime French-language Montreal Canadiens play-by-play announcer Pierre Houde was named the 2024 recipient of the Foster Hewitt Award, the Hockey Hall of Fame’s top honor for broadcasters. Houde is only the fourth francophone commentator to receive this award.

In the press release from the NHL Broadcasters’ Association, president and 2004 Foster Hewitt recipient Chuck Kaiton said, “For over three decades, Pierre has brought francophone hockey fans all over Canada exciting and entertaining play-by-play of our great game with class and distinction. He is extremely worthy of being the 2024 Foster Hewitt Memorial Award recipient.

Houde, 66, grew up in Montreal and has worked in broadcasting for nearly half a century. Originally a radio DJ, he was hired by sports channel RDS to be the play-by-play announcer for its package of Canadiens games at the channel’s inception before the 1989-90 season, and has continued in that role ever since.

Houde, known for his simple style and “Et le but!” goal call, has proven to be so popular in the Montreal market that even many anglophone Habs fans tune in to RDS to hear him call a game. He served as the play-by-play announcer on French Canadian television for the Stanley Cup Final from 2003 until 2014, and even filled in on English Canadian television for a couple of games in the 1990s.

Houde’s other sporting love is Formula One racing, and his association with F1 play-by-play has lasted even longer than his time with the Canadiens.

Other French announcers to win the Foster Hewitt include Rene Lecavalier (1984), Richard Garneau (1999), and Gilles Tremblay (2002).

ABC’s is doing its first NBA title with a fresh team.

ESPN’s JJ Redick, Doris Burke and Mike Breen (l-r)

The 2024 NBA Finals Presented by YouTube TV begins June 6, with ABC as the exclusive broadcaster.

Game 1: Mavericks vs. Celtics, Thursday, June 6 (8:30 ET)

Game 2: Mavericks vs. Celtics, Sunday, June 9 (8 ET)

Game 3: Celtics vs. Mavericks, Wednesday, June 12 (8:30 ET)

Game 4: Celtics vs. Mavericks, Friday, June 14 (8:30 ET)

Game 5: Mavericks vs. Celtics, Monday, June 17 (8:30 ET)*

Game 6: Celtics vs. Mavericks, Thursday, June 20 (8:30 ET)*

Game 7: Mavericks vs. Celtics, Sunday, June 23 (8 ET)*

Mike Breen ‘s love of basketball is unending. He did some TV football for Fox, yet stuck completely to hoops. His enthusiasm is from his heart. He admired fellows like referees Dick Bevetta. At one point, Mike himself thought of officiating games. Breen has completed his 18th championship on ABC and ESPN.

He had one of the best partners, in Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson. For some inexplicable reason, they were let go after last season.

The trio were funny and interlaced.

Now let us hope that Breen, JJ Redick and Doris Burke will collaborate.

 

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Jake Baskin

Jake Baskin is a graduate of Dean College who majored in sports broadcasting. He does play-by-play for Northeast Sports Network and previously wrote about hockey for various SB Nation blogs. He loves the history and evolution of sports broadcasting and dreams of being a national-level announcer.

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